The high voltage clash between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) will face some of the biggest stars of world cricket. RCB and Mumbai Indians are led by two Indian cricket superstars Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, who are looking for two extra points when they take the field on Monday. Both teams have played two games so far and have had mixed results, with both a win and a loss. Considered slow starters, Mumbai Indians lost their opening match against CSK but came back strong when they defeated two-time champion Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their previous match. Virat Kohli’s squad started their IPL 2020 at a peak with a close win over SunRisers Hyderabad, but hit the low point in their next match and suffered a humiliating 97-point defeat by Kings XI Punjab.
With the winning momentum and head-to-head stats clearly in their favor, Mumbai Indians, dotted with some of T20 cricket‘s biggest stars, will be a tough job for inconsistent RCB.
That said, despite being underdogs, RCB has enough firepower to bolster their ranks that can only win matches on any given day.
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE
Virat Kohli: The biggest asset in RCB’s star-studded batting line-up is their skipper Virat Kohli, who has yet to come to the party at this year’s IPL. Kohli, the most successful batsman in tournament history, has never taken off and will be extra motivated to break those chains and score big runs for his team. In two games this season, Kohli has only scored 15 runs.
Moreover, he also missed two crucial catches in their last game against KXIP that cost them dear. Kohli likes to answer his critics with the bat, and if he manages to score big against defending champions’ fiery bowling lineup, it will help him convey a strong message.
AB de Villiers: The former South African star has been the only luminous light in RCB’s batting lineup in the tournament so far. Despite that, his 79 runs from two games are far from his own world-class standard and he would love to get a high score to make a strong statement.
He started the tournament with a high score in half a century (51 from 30 balls) against SunRisers Hyderabad. Also in the second match he got the start scoring 28 of 18 balls, but he couldn’t turn it into a big score as RCB suffered its biggest defeat so far in IPL 2020. Together with skipper Kohli, De Villiers will hold the key as RCB will bouncing back from a disastrous crackdown on KXIP.
Yuzvendra Chahal: With four wickets from two games, Chahal started the tournament in a very smart way. He has thrown great control in both matches so far and would like to continue the same momentum against one of his best friends Rohit Sharma, with whom he shares great camaraderie.
Aside from picking wickets, Chahal has been very thrifty, with runs against an impressive 5.37 runs per over economy. The burden of proof of directing RCB’s bowling attack will again rest on him.
Rohit Sharma: After a poor first game against Chennai Super Kings on opening day, Rohit Sharma led from the front by scoring 80 from 54 balls when Mumbai Indians beat KKR by 49 runs. Rohit Sharma clicking on top is a must if Mumbai wants to become the second team after Chennai Super Kings to successfully defend their IPL title.
Suryakumar Yadav: Aside from Rohit, Suryakumar Yadav was another highlight of the Mumbai Indians’ hitters, scoring 47 from 28 balls before facing KKR in their previous game. If Quinton de Kock continues to open the innings on the flop, Suryakumar will again have to take the lead and lay the foundation for a big total.
Jaspreet Bumrah: In the absence of experienced Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah has taken on the mantle of running the Mumbai Indians fast-paced bowling unit made up of Trent Boult and James Pattinson.
After a regular show against CSK in the opening game, Bumrah made a strong comeback against KKR, returning with figures of 2/32. He fired KKR’s two foreign recruits, Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell, who played a key role in the Mumbai Indians’ comfortable victory.
He will again have the responsibility of controlling RCB’s explosive trio of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Australian skipper Aaron Finch.
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